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Dramatic increase in Nelson Marlborough calls

News release

21 July 2008

Dramatic increase in calls to Healthline from Nelson Marlborough residents

Increasing numbers of Nelson Marlborough residents are choosing to pick-up the phone and ring Healthline as their first port of call when in need of health advice for themselves, their partners or children.

Healthline, which provides free access to 24 hour health advice, received over 670 more calls between January and March this year, compared to the same period last year.

This takes the total number of callers from the Nelson Marlborough region from 1977 to 2650, and is the greatest increase in calls from any region.

The Well Child Advice Line puts parents in touch with a registered Well Child nurse who can provide parents with information about anything from breast feeding to problems sleeping. It is available on the same 0800 number as Healthline.

Nationally, Healthline received over 70,000 calls between January and March. The Well Child Advice Service received more than 10 per cent of all calls to the 24-hour free phone service.

“We are delighted that Nelson Marlborough residents are using the Well Child service. We know there are many first time parents who value having parenting advice from a nurse only a phone call away. It gives them confidence to know that we are there to support them,” said Healthline general manager, Lesley Clarke.

All calls to Healthline are handled by registered nurses who assess the callers’ concerns and needs once a call is received. If a call is about an unwell person - from newborn to elderly - the Healthline nurse asks a series of questions to determine what type of care is required and then advises on the best course of action. The nurses do not diagnose over the phone.

Healthline, including the Well Child Telephone Advice Service, is available free to all families and caregivers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Healthline is a confidential advice line for people of all ages – from birth to older ages – as a reliable source of information for health concerns.

Healthline complements the service offered by other health providers in the community, directing callers to the appropriate health provider within the appropriate time frame.

Healthline, including the Well Child Telephone Advice Service can be reached by phoning 0800 611 116. The service is provided by McKesson New Zealand for the Ministry of Health in association with St John.


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